I’ve been plugging away at this blog thing now for about 3 years. It’s been a nice creative outlet, a professional outlet, and in general, a unique opportunity to reach people with the gospel that I otherwise may not have.
Monday morning was a landmark of sorts for this blog. Last week I was contacted by the producer of The Jesse Lee Peterson Show, a syndicated national radio talk show. The show’s producer came across my blog online and wanted to have me on the program. Jesse Lee Peterson is a regular contributor to Fox News, the president of BOND Action, Inc, has hosted his own cable TV program, and, obviously also hosts his own radio talk show. So, Monday morning, I was invited to be the guest for his Monday hour slot called “Preachers in the Pulpit”. In this segment, Peterson is looking to get a feel for what’s going on in churches around the country and get ministers’ thoughts on American spirituality.
It dawned on me on Monday how strange a road this has been for me. I still remember being 16-years-old and looking my academic adviser from my Christian high school in the eye and firmly saying, “No. I will not be a pastor.” And then there was a long, humbling process, which I thank God for. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with a young Christian man not wanting to be a pastor. It’s certainly not for everyone. However, there is something wrong with a Christian young man not wanting to be a pastor specifically because Jesus is not the top priority in his heart. So, more than anything professionally, it’s the spiritual growth along the way that I’m grateful for. Fast forward to today and I’m on a “conservative” national talk radio show defending my faith for an hour on a segment called “Preachers in the Pulpit” and loving it. I guess this is my way of saying that God’s intentions for our lives are often different and always better than our intentions for our lives. It’s a lesson that’s both sobering and fulfilling.
My segment was between Dr. Noliwe Rooks, a professor at Princeton and accomplished author, and Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a world-renowned psychologist from Stanford. One thing I’ll say for Peterson is that he is a controversial, equal opportunity offender, who pulls no punches with anyone. He was just as tough on me as he is with all of his guests, which was great. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Also, let me make it clear that by agreeing to be on the show, I’m not at all suggesting that I agree with everything Peterson teaches. I absolutely DO NOT and that’s apparent in the interview. For starters, the man believes that he no longer sins, a position that historically is generally only associated with sociopaths and cult leaders, i.e. not actual Christian ministers. This was something I naturally questioned him on in the interview.
I did debate doing the interview at first. Eventually, though, the bottom line for me was that this was the largest platform I’ve had, to date, to talk about Jesus as my Savior, and I pray I’d never pass those opportunities up. Secondly, I think there’s some merit in a congregation getting to see their pastor get hammered regarding his beliefs, but do his best in defending those beliefs based on Scripture. It didn’t go perfectly. But I’d like to think I took it like a Christian man.
If you’re interested in listening, the show is available as a free download in iTunes at http://bit.ly/M4EaDQ. Just click on the July 2, 2012 show and my portion begins at about the 47 minute mark. You do have to have an iTunes account, but that’s also free.
Since I now know you’re reading, I’d like to thank Kelly Stewart, the producer of the show, and Jesse Lee Peterson himself. If anyone else out there has a microphone and wants to let me talk about the one who gave me life and makes my life worth living, you know where to find me.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)